Washington Wizards v Minnesota Timberwolves
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 5: Daniel Gafford #21 hi-fives Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Washington Wizards during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 5, 2022 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Gafford's career high, KP's 25 lead Wizards to 132-114 win over Wolves



The Wizards beat the Timberwolves 132-114 on Tuesday night at the Target Center behind a trio of 20-point performances from Kristaps Porzingis, Daniel Gafford and Rui Hachimura. The Wizards have now won five of their last seven games and five-straight against the Timberwolves.

Porzingis led the way for Washington with 25 points on 11-17 (.647) from the field and 3-5 (.600) from 3-point range – and was one of three Wizards players to knock down at least three 3-pointers, joined by Hachimura and Corey Kispert.

Daniel Gafford played one of the best games of his career, scoring a career-high 24 points on 10-11 (.909) shooting to go along with a career-high 12 rebounds. Gafford played closer for Washington, scoring 10 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter.

Coming off a scoreless night against the Celtics on Sunday, Hachimura responded with a 21-point performance on 8-15 (.533) from the field and 3-4 (.750) from 3-point range.

“It was a good sign to see,” Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said of Hachimura postgame. “It takes a level of maturity when you have a tough night to put it aside and refocus with a fresh start. I think all our guys did a good job with that.”

The Wizards started the night 4-6 (.667) from 3-point range and rode the hot start from beyond the arc to an early 20-14 lead before an 8-0 run from the Timberwolves put Minnesota back on top. After a back-and-forth finish to the first quarter, the Wizards’ offense came to life in the second. Porzingis scored 11 of his 25 points on 5-7 (.714) shooting to lead the way for Washington. As a team, the Wizards shot 12-18 (.667) inside the arc in the second quarter, but struggled to get stops on the other end. The second quarter featured five ties and nine lead changes, wrapping up an exciting first half that saw the two teams combine for 133 points on 52-96 (.541) shooting.

A pair of buckets from Gafford – each assisted by Deni Avdija – early in the third quarter helped Washington start the second half strong and open an 87-78 lead. Soon after, Avdija got in the scoring, combining with Porzingis to knock down three 3-pointers in a span of just over 90 seconds, giving Washington a 96-84 lead – its largest of the night – with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Ish Smith gave the Wizards a 101-93 lead going into the final frame when he buried a 34-foot triple at the third-quarter buzzer. Smith’s bucket was the highlight of one of his best all-around performances of the year, finishing with 11 points, eight rebounds and 14 assists.

Washington pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring Minnesota 31-21 and leading by as many as 23 points.


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